Mai Mala Buni chairs Blueprint ’s lectures, awards June 23… Atiku, Tinubu named Democracy Icons




Yobe state Governor Mai Mala Buni would, Thursday, June 23, 2022, chair the 2021 Blueprint Newspapers’ Impact Series/Awards ceremony scheduled to take place at the International Conference Centre Abuja.

Chief Operating Officer (COO) of the company, Malam Salisu Umar, who disclosed this Monday in a statement in Abuja, said the 17th Chief of Army Staff and former Minister of Interior, retired Lt.-General Abdulrahman Bello Dambazau, is expected to deliver the keynote address at the event.

He said General Dambazau would speak on “2023 Politics, National Security and Nigeria’s Stability.” 

The COO said the choice of the topic was informed by the need to contribute to the country’s political development and engender national cohesion.

Umar also said the event is dedicated to finding workable solutions to the challenges associated with elections, national security, peace and stability of the country.

The COO said the event “is also organised to honour key political actors, players in the private sector, individuals and heads of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) among others, who have proved their worth in specific areas of governance and human endeavours.”

Some of those listed for the awards at the event are the presidential candidates of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the All Progressives Congress (APC), former Vice President Atiku Abubakar and Asiwaju Ahmed Bola Tinubu, respectively.

The two were nominated as Blueprint’s Democracy Icons of The Year.

Atiku Abubakar

Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, GCON, is an astute politician and businessman who served as the Vice President of Nigeria from 1999 to 2007.

He has been in politics for decades and is currently the PDP presidential candidate in the 2023 general elections.

Atiku Abubakar was born on the 25th of November, 1946 in Jada, Adamawa state. His father, Garba Abubakar was a Fulani trader and farmer, and his mother was Aisha Kande.

He was named after his paternal grandfather, Atiku Abdulqadir and became the only child of his parents when his only sister died at infancy.

After completing his primary school education in 1960, he was admitted into Adamawa Provincial Secondary School in the same year, alongside 59 other students, and graduated in 1965.

After his secondary school education, Abubakar studied for a short while at the Nigeria Police College in Kaduna. However, he left the College to later work briefly as a Tax Officer in the Regional Ministry of Finance, from where he gained admission to the School of Hygiene in Kano in 1966. He graduated with a Diploma in 1967, having served as Interim Student Union President at the school.

In 1967, he enrolled for a Law Diploma at the Ahmadu Bello University Institute of Administration, on a scholarship from the regional government.

After graduation in 1969, during the Nigerian civil war, he was employed by the Nigeria Customs Service.

Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu

Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu is a household name in the country. The APC presidential candidate in the 2023 presidential elections was born to the illustrious Tinubu family of Lagos state. He attended Richard Daley College, Chicago Illinois, where he earned himself a place on the honours list of the College. He subsequently proceeded to the Chicago State University, Illinois where he obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration (Accounting and Management).

During his undergraduate years, he was honoured with the Outstanding Student’s Award, The University Scholar’s Award and the Certificate of Merit in Accounting and Finance.

On his arrival in the U.S. in 1975 and with the support of an ever-adoring mother, this courageous youth, faced with an unflinching zeal to succeed, took on such menial jobs as dishwashing, night-guard and cab driving to see himself through the initial difficulties of school at the Richard Daley College, Chicago, Illinois.

The brilliance of this young Nigerian showed in his ability to make the honours list of Richard Daley College. He subsequently transferred to the Chicago State University, Illinois, graduating with honours in 1979 and earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration (Accounting and Management).

During his first year at Chicago State University, young Bola was given the rare privilege to partly teach other students in his faculty remedial tutorial classes. Most of his colleagues and contemporaries at the university attributed their improved grades to his tutorial lectures.

Throughout his undergraduate years, young Bola was on the Dean’s List and was honoured with the Outstanding Student’s Award, the University Scholar’s Award and the Certificate of Merit in Accounting and Finance. He was also awarded the prestigious Summa cum laude for scoring 3.54 out of a possible 4.0 GP.

With his successful academic profile, young Bola contested and won his first political election as the President of the Accounting Society of the institution in his final year at the University.

Politicians of the Year

Also listed for the awards are Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers state and Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal of Sokoto state, both nominated Blueprint Politicians of The Year.

Nyesom Wike

Governor Wike, CON, the sixth Governor of Rivers State, is a renowned lawyer and politician. Wike was elected governor in the 2015 general election.

Wike was born on December 13, 1963, at Rumuepirikom, Obio-Akpor, Rivers state. He is the son of Reverend Nlemanya Wike. Having been brought up in Rivers state, he attended Government Secondary School Eneka in Obiakpor, Rivers state, where he sat for his O’ Level examinations. After graduating, he proceeded to the Rivers State University of Science and Technology (RSUT), where he obtained a degree in Law. He attended the Nigeria Law School and completed his studies in 1997. He also holds a Master’s degree in Political and Administrative Studies from the same university.

Wike worked in the private legal practice before he ventured into politics. He was elected as the Executive Chairman of Obio/Akpor Local Government Area (LGA) for two terms from 1999 to 2007.

He distinguished himself as one of the best performing chairpersons of the council.

While he was in office, Ezebunwo served as Deputy President, Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON) in 2004 and was later elected the President of ALGON. He was also an African representative in the Commonwealth Local Governments Forum.

When he finished his tenure as LGA’s Executive chairman, he got appointed as the Chief of Staff at the Government House in Port Harcourt. He was also assigned as the general manager of the campaign team during Governor Rotimi Amaechi’s re-election campaign.

On July 14, 2011, Wike was appointed Minister of State for Education, and later as Minister of Education of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. However, he resigned voluntarily to vie for the governorship of Rivers state on the PDP platform. On December 8, 2014, he won the party’s ticket and subsequently won the general elections in April the following year for another term. On April 3, 2019, he was re-elected as the Governor of Rivers state in the 2019 general elections.  

Aminu Waziri Tambuwal

Rt. Hon. Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, CFR, Mutawallen Sokoto, was born into the religious and aristocratic family of Wazirin Tambuwal on the 10th of January, 1966. He started early education, like all Muslim children, at a very early age. He was then enrolled in Tambuwal Primary School in 1972. After his primary school education in 1979, young Aminu Waziri was admitted into Government Teachers College Dogondaji where he studied for five years and completed in 1984 with a Grade II Teacher’s Certificate. This had prepared him for teaching at primary school where most of his peers chose to remain but Aminu was far ahead of his contemporaries. So, he decided to pursue post-secondary education without waiting to look for a paid job at that level.

He thus sought and got admission into the prestigious Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto in 1984 for a Bachelor of Law Degree in Islamic and Common Law. He completed his study in 1991. From the Faculty of Law of Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal proceeded to the Nigeria Law School, Lagos in 1992 where he completed the one-year course and was called to the Nigerian Bar in the same year.

Aminu Waziri’s first encounter with an elective post was in 1997 when he was elected by the Nigerian Bar Association as Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the Sokoto chapter of the association. His performance at the state level was recognized and appreciated at the national level. He was to serve as the Assistant National Financial Secretary, first national Secretary and the then Secretary of the Human Rights Committee of the Association from 1998 to 2002.

By providence, he was to later become a member of the House of Representatives and was given the mandate by his colleagues to lead them as Speaker of the Lower House. By next year, he would be stepping down after two terms as governor of Sokoto state.

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